Travel guruRick Steves (@RickSteves) joined Jim on Wednesday night to explain why his latest travels are aren't in Europe, but are around Massachusetts, in support of Question 4, to legalize marijuana.
Steves explained that his support for Question 4 stems from his concerns about public safety and civil liberties. He said he is interested in stopping the racism inherent in the enforcement of current marijuana laws. Steves noted that 20,000 Americans are in prison for non-violent marijuana charges.
In Washington and Colorado, two states where marijuana is legal, use and crime have not gone up, he said. Steves also noted that some European countries have realized there is no correlation between legalization and how much marijuana a society consumes.
Big marijuana is already here, said Steves: "It's called a black market." He explained that in Washington state, they've taken the black market and legalized it. This legalization has led to revenue for the state.
Steves said that the most dangerous thing about marijuana is that it is illegal. "The gateway argument doesn't hold up," said Steves. He explained that making marijuana legal would stop dealers from trying to sell buyers more dangerous drugs. Steves also noted that for teenagers, a marijuana drug charge could mean not getting into college.
"This is not pro-pot," said Steves. "This is pro-public safety." He said he is embarrassed by the federal prohibition on pot.